Why Salesforce, Google, & HubSpot provide free online learning?

December 23rd, 2016
Person pointing at a network of people

& Why we built a tool to make that!

By Kent Fallesen, ​CEO & Founder of uQualio Video eLearning authoring & creation LMS software

These companies have done a tremendous effort by creating sites where you can learn by watching video tutorials and certify yourselves for free - again and again - a very effective learning method for busy people who are using their products for work.

Let me start by pointing out. None of these companies would provide this for free if it didn't generate value. No one would, and I am pretty sure that each of them has good reasons. The answer to the question is probably therefore quite simple. Because it provides value to their customers and themselves at the same time.

So, what could the value be?

Value for the provider of the free online learning

From an overall business perspective some of the important values to be gained by companies when providing free online learning are: 

  1. The company and its products are being promoted by those who matter – their customers, users, partners, or employees.
  2. More educated and satisfied users of their products - increased customer retention or even more business as employees start using the products fully or when they change jobs.
  3. Less support is needed to the existing happy users of their products.

So, for corporations, there is an opportunity for positive branding, increased or stable business, and cost savings.

Value for the customers and the individual users

I probably do not need to mention this. The customers and the individual users of the products also get a lot in return:

  1. They get access to a site where they can find relevant updated information 24-7 from the ones who actually know the products.
  2. The level of competence in the customer organization increases - an important component in creating more efficient processes. For the individuals in addition - they get a chance to prove their qualifications. Helping them to get ahead in their career.

Can other companies do the same?

What the solutions of the 3 companies among others have in common, is that their solutions are not available as an online software tool for other organizations to use for publishing learning content.

This was where we started to wonder. Wouldn't it make sense for other companies to do the same? We were certain of that. And we chose to do something about it. We recently finished developing the first version of an online software system, where companies can do the same. It is called uQualio and can be found on app.uQualio.com. It is provided as a social platform for individuals and companies and interacts from a user perspective seamlessly with other social networks. All material and tests are offered completely for free for individual users. The users can learn, take tests, engage in competitions, save and share their badges.

For the corporations, it works as an online software tool for them to publish learning content including e.g. new or current product versions, new releases, new features, support material, webinars, advanced product demos, etc. We hereby make it possible for small and medium-sized companies to do the same as the larger ones. No reason to pay a fortune to develop and maintain your own sites, if you can get it as SaaS, more affordable and constantly improved based on experiences from users and other customers, and always available from any device.

To make sure that the decision is very easy to make, we are offering a subscription model. Companies are only paying for the number of active campaigns they need and at a very low price. We suggest that companies create several sites and that each campaign is developed and published with the target group in mind e.g. Sales, Customer Care, Services, Product Managers, Accounting, IT Administrators, etc. That will provide the most value to each user.

Why not just use YouTube?

We, of course, did some research and found that many had already published on YouTube training videos, advanced product demos, webinars, video tutorials, and so forth. That was good news for us. Confirming the companies' understanding of the value of providing free online learning. Unfortunately for the companies, YouTube is not the best place for doing so.

The material is drowning

Firstly, most of the material is “drowning” in the success of YouTube, and it can be difficult for users to find and is hardly being watched compared to the potential. E.g. some business software vendors have millions of users and only a few thousand views. 

Not a learning system

Secondly, YouTube has great technology to show videos. But YouTube is not a learning system. Simply watching videos doesn’t motivate the watchers to learn something and to promote the company offering it. Learning demands interaction, and learners want to be rewarded, appreciated, and praised for their effort. And to show that they are qualified afterward. This is what uQualio can help companies and individuals to do.

So instead of only using YouTube, uQualio can in combination with YouTube videos help make the tutorials easy to find, visible, interactive, and interesting for the users, even the existing videos, and create value to both the companies and the users of their products. And individuals will notice if companies publish valuable content on uQualio, making it easier for them to prove their qualifications. In some cases, they already partly or completely possessed the qualifications, but could not document having. Now they can.

Thanks to our network

Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to say: "Thank you!" to all the people in our network who recently helped us by "stress" testing our software. I wish you all a Great 2017 - Happy New Year!

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